The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bread rolls

mgmdw's picture

chestnut rolls

October 14, 2012 - 6:50am -- mgmdw

I am a member of the WV Chestnut Festival and always looking for a special recipe. Last week I read in freerk's blog about a his chestnut rolls. The photo looks wonderful. I contacted him a few days ago to see if I could get the recipe but received not reply. Does anyone have an easy recipe to make chestnut rolls with a crisp outside? Thanks.

freerk's picture

Baking with one hand; german rolls baking video

September 3, 2011 - 7:34am -- freerk

Hey fellow TFL-ers,

Working hard on my baking with one hand skills. Thank you Panasonic, for a sturdy tiny camera, that will even survive a plunge in the dough (not that it has happened...yet)!

Welcome to the Bread Lab :-)


The YouTube video is hereby completely dedicated (I hope you appreciate this) to Hanseata (Karin)! Thank you for all your wonderful formulas on here, and making my favorite list read like a copy of your profile; this one's for you!

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

I must be a glutton for punishment.  After six months of trying to improve my baguette making skills, I'm already raring to head off on a new "quest" after just one weekend of "free" baking.  However, I can't decide between two possible quests, and I'm looking for some advice.  Also, much like with Saturday Baguettes, I'll be posting my results regularly as a commitment mechanism, so if there are folks out there who would be more interested in reading about one or the other, that's important to me too.

Here's my options:

Quest #1: Ciabatta:

I've made a number of ciabattas over the years, with fair to middling success, but I've never really gotten it right.  By "right" I mean a very open crumb, nutty flavor, and thin, crisp crust.   This is a typical ciabatta of mine:

Crumb decently open but not as much as you'd expect in a ciabatta, crust a little thick and chewy, flavor pretty good, but not always great.  This is my typical ciabatta experience, although often the crumb is tighter than pictured here.  The results are pleasant, but short of what a ciabatta can be.

 The first step in this quest would be settling on a particular ciabatta formula to work with -- I've tried Peter Reinhart's formulas from both The Bread Baker's apprentice and from Artisan Breads Everyday, Hamelman's formulas for Ciabatta with Poolish and Ciabatta with Olive Oil and Wheat Germ, and the "quick" Cocodrillo ciabatta that's been floating around TFL.  None have reliably yielded good results.

The next big milestone will be working out the fine art of transfering ciabatta to the oven.  I can't tell you how many times I've had promising looking loaves foiled by my ham-handed flip-and-carry.


Quest #2: Sourdough dinner rolls

This would be a quest of a very different flavor than the previous one (literally and figuratively). I'm a big fan of crusty sourdough dinner rolls, but I've never had much luck making them.  Adapting a standard sourdough recipe doesn't work well--the chewy crust and crumb that frequently go with a sourdough boule make for hockey pucks in the dinner roll context.

I'm looking for a roll with a thin, crisp crust, moderately chewy crumb, and a nice sourdough tang.  This quest is more of a recipe development quest than a technique mastery quest.

I have a prototype recipe that I've made a couple times, with somewhat mixed results.  It's been hard to get both good flavor and thin crust in the same roll.  On the other hand, if the last batch I made is replicable, this could be a very short quest:


Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Which of these would you most like to read about sporadically over the next few months?

Happy baking, everyone,


mse1152's picture

Greetings, bakers,

Tonight for dinner we had salad and the 'Rosettes of Venice' rolls from Carol Field's The Italian Baker.  I don't know why I never tried them before, but they were fabulous!  The recipe wants 500g of biga, and I had 486g of biga in the freezer, so I declared that was enough biga to attempt these.  They take about 5-ish hours from start to finish.  They look like hole-less bagels or kaiser rolls, but are much softer than either of those...maybe the 1/2 cup of olive oil had something to do with it.  The recipe said you should get 12 to 14 rolls, but I made only 8.  At that size, they'd make wonderful sandwich rolls, which I intend to verify tomorrow.



Soft and tasty, with just enough sugar to notice.  They're glazed with egg white, and I decided they also would benefit from a sprinkle of sesame or poppy seeds, and just enough kosher salt to give them a little bite.



To make the biga:

Mix by hand, mixer, or food processor:

1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

3/4 cup plus 1 Tb. plus 1 tsp. room temp. water (weird measurement, I agree)

330g unbleached all-purpose flour

Let the yeast stand in the warm water about 10 minutes.  Add remaining water, then the flour, a cup at a time.  Rise the biga in a covered bowl at room temp. for 6 to 24 hours.  Then you can refigerate or freeze it till you need it, or you could use it immediately after it's risen, I suppose.


To make the rosettes:

1 tsp. active dry yeast

2 Tb. warm water

1/2 cup olive oil (the recipe wants 1/4 cup lard and 1/4 cup olive oil)

3 Tb. sugar

500g biga

300g unbleached all-purpose flour

5g salt

1 beaten egg white for glazing

Combine yeast and 2 Tb. water in a large bowl.  Let stand about 10 minutes.  Add oil, sugar, and biga.  Mix by hand or in a mixer till biga and liquids are fairly well blended.  Add flour and salt and mix or knead until dough comes together.  Knead by hand (8-10 minutes) or mixer (3-4 minutes on low speed) until dough is moist and elastic.  I used a Bosch mixer, and on low speed, the dough really didn't come together well.  After a couple of minutes, I finished kneading it by hand.

Put the dough in a bowl rise, covered with plastic or whatever.  Let rise about 2 hours, at approx. 75 degrees F.



Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter and pat or roll to 3/4 inch thick (mine were thinner, maybe 1/2 inch).  Use whatever you have to cut out a circle of dough, about 3-5 inches in diameter, depending on whether you want small rolls or sandwich buns.  Here's the tricky part, so read it a few times:

Assuming you're right handed, place your left thumb at the 9 o'clock position of the dough circle, with the end of the thumb in the middle of the circle.  Use the other hand to roll the dough from the 12 o'clock position down to the thumb.  Rotate the dough clockwise until the left 'point' of the roll that you just made is at the 12 o'clock position.  Place your left thumb again at 9 o'clock and roll that section of the dough down again toward your thumb.  Rotate and repeat the rolling until you have a sort of kaiser-type of roll shape, with leaves or petals of dough on top of the roll, or whatever you can describe them as.  Press down the middle of the roll to ensure the 'leaves' stay put.  I decided that as long as the rolls weren't flat, I was in the ballpark.  I didn't take photos of this step, since, not knowing how yummy they'd be, I had no idea I'd be posting anything!

Place the rolls on a lightly oiled or parchment covered baking sheet.  Cover with plastic or a towel, and let rise till doubled, approx. 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.  In the last 15-20 minutes of the rise, turn the oven on to 400F.  When the oven is ready, brush the rolls with beaten egg white.  Add any toppings you desire.  Bake about 20 minutes.  I rotated the pan halfway through baking.  Mmmmmmmmmm!!!




MadAboutB8's picture

Green tea and red bean are the food pair that I love.  The bitterness from green tea complements the sweetness from the red bean paste really well. I have the left over of red bean paste I made for my homemade green tea ice cream last week. I have a big container of it and I don't like to see them going to waste. So, it makes a perfect timing to get on baking some green tea bread buns.

I used the white bread sandwich loaf recipe from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker Apprentice cookbook as a base. This bread is more like enriched bread than sweet bread. I figured that the red bean paste would add the richness and sweetness to the breads. Therefore, the recipe should be fine with just enriched bread dough.

I used 80% whole wheat (12% protein) and 20% all-purpose flour (10% protein) as flour mixture. You can also substitute these with bread flour, which should results in softer bread. I brushed the buns with milk, followed by melted butter, instead of egg-wash. So, this has resulted in less shiny crust.

I like to think that this bread is relatively healthy. It got high percentage whole wheat flour, green tea powder (rich in vitamin C and antioxidant), and red beans (irons, protein, fibre). So, it make a good alternative snack.

If you're interested in the recipe, you can find it here:>

 I made into three different shapes, flower shape ones (this picture), bread rolls in bread tin, bread rolls in cake pan

 Yummy red bean paste that I can just have them straight without any bread or ice cream.


bakersteve's picture

Anyone got a recipe for Wegglitag?

February 6, 2009 - 7:39am -- bakersteve

Has anyone got a recipe for Wegglitag? These are a Swiss breakfast roll that (if I have identified the species correctly) I can remember my mother and I fighting over in Interlaken in the 60s (there was a bakery just behind the hotel). They were absolutely amazing, and like nothing we had ever tasted before. In a mixed basket of rolls there was usually only one (hence the fight). They were shaped like little lemons.


holds99's picture



In the recent past a number of TFL bakers have asked me for the recipe for Bernard Clayton’s S.S. France Petite Pain rolls. I sent the recipe to all who requested. The requests got me to thinking. Mr. Clayton’s rolls are baked using the direct method, using only yeast for leavening. Recently I began thinking how this recipe might be improved, or at least made differently, with the addition of a poolish. With that in mind I began experimenting and testing the recipe and have come up with what I believe are rolls with a somewhat better flavor than a direct method baking.  The added flavor is, I believe, a result of using an overnight starter (poolish). Above are some photos and below is the recipe for anyone who may be interested in what I believe are really good breakfast or dinner rolls.

Note: This recipe can be halved.



Petite Pain – Howard’s Formula

Starter Dough Mixture (Poolish)Ingredients

Unbleached all-purpose flour………………………………………………… 10.4 ounces
Instant yeast………………………………………………………………………….... 1/4 teaspoon
Malt powder (optional)…………………………………………………………..... 2 teaspoons
Water, at room temperature (70-90 deg. F.)…………….…..... 8 ounces

Total Starter Dough Mixture……………………………….. 18.8 ounces

Six hours or up to 2 days ahead, make the starter dough (poolish). In a medium bowl or 2 quart plastic container, combine all the ingredients for the poolish and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for 3 to 5 minutes or until it is smooth and comes away from the side of the bowl/container. It will be slightly sticky to the touch.

Cover the bowl/container tightly with a lid or oiled plastic wrap (or place the poolish in a 2 quart food storage container with a lid) and set it aside until tripled in volume and filled with bubbles. Note: when the poolish has reached its peak there should be lines and creases on the surface and the mixture should be bubbly/foamy-like and it should be beginning to fall back on itself but not collapsing entirely. At room temperature, this will take about 6 hours. Note: After 3 hours the poolish can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

If refrigerated, remove it to room temperature for 1 hour before mixing the final dough.

To proceed with the rolls add the water from the Final Dough Mixture (below) to the poolish container, stir it down and proceed with mixing the Final Dough per the instructions below.

Final Dough Mixture Ingredients

Unbleached all-purpose flour………………………………………………… 25.0 ounces
Instant yeast………………………………………………………………………....….. 1 teaspoon
Salt……………………………………………………………………………………….......… 2 teaspoons
Water, at room temperature (70-90 deg. F.)………………….. 16 ounces
Poolish (from above)……………………………………………….……………….18.8 ounces

Total Final Dough Mixture……………………….......…….. 65.36 ounces

Mix the Final Dough.

In the mixer bowl (I use a KitchenAid), whisk together the flour and yeast. Then whisk in the salt (this keeps the yeast from coming into direct contact with the salt, which could affect the yeast’s leavening properties). If you haven’t done so, add the Final Dough water to the container with the poolish and loosen the poolish from the container with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, loosely mixing it with the water.

Add the water/poolish mixture to the mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for a couple of minutes (#1 speed if using a KitchenAid) adding the flour/yeast/salt mixture ½ cup at a time, until the flour is moistened into a shaggy mass. Turn off the mixer and cover the top of the mixer bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow dough to autolyse (rest) for 20-30 minutes.

Remove the film/towel and turn the mixer on to speed #2 and continue for about 5 minutes until it starts to develop gluten has strands. After 5 minutes increase the speed to # 6 for about 30-60 seconds, or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl. If the dough hasn’t pulled away after about a minute, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium-high (#6 Kitchen Aid) for another 2 minutes. If it still doesn’t pull away from the bowl, beat in a little flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, on low speed (#2 KitchenAid). The dough should cling to your fingers when touched.

Let the dough rise.
Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough from the paddle and container into a 4 quart food storage container, light oiled with cooking spray or oil. (The Final Dough will weigh 65.3 ounces and be 62.5% hydration) Push down the dough and lightly spray or oil the top with cooking oil. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape, mark the side of the container at approximately where triple the height of the dough would be. Allow the dough to rise (ideally at 75 deg. F) until tripled in volume, 1 ¼ to 2 hours.

Note: At 20 minute intervals, during the first hour of bulk fermentation, empty the dough onto a slightly wet work surface (not floured but lightly misted with water) and stretch the dough, folding it into thirds, like a business letter.  Turn it a quarter turn and fold it into thirds again. Then place it back into the container seam side down.

Do a total of 3 stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals during the first hour of bulk fermentation.

Divide and shape the dough and let it rise.
Distribute a moderate amount of flour onto your work surface in a square 16” X 16”. Using an oiled spatula, gently scrape the dough onto the floured work surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour. Handle the dough gently at all times to maintain as much gas in the dough as possible. Using a sharp knife or the edge of a dough scraper and a kitchen scale, divide the dough into 4 ounce pieces. You should end up with approximately 16 pieces of dough, each weighing 4 ounces.

Divide the remaining piece of dough (1.3 ounces) into a half dozen, or so, pieces and spread it around, randomly adding a piece of it to the 4 ounce dough pieces. Shape the 4 ounce dough pieces into rolls, using the dry edge of the work surface to get traction in shaping.

Place the rolls on a parchment lined baking pan, cover your rolls lightly with a cloth, plastic wrap, sprayed with cooking oil (to keep it from sticking to the dough), or, as I do, with a rectangular plastic bin large enough to accommodate your baking pans. Let the rolls rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume, 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Use a floured finger to test the rolls to check for spring back.
Do not let them over proof.
Score the tops of each roll with 2 quick slashes made at a 90 degree angle and place them into a preheated 475 degree oven.
Add a cup of water to a preheated pan or skillet to product a large burst of steam.
After 5 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the pans around midway through the baking cycle.
The internal temperature of the rolls, when done, should be 205-210 deg. F.


Bobs Red Mill Flour – unbleached, unbromated
KAF instant yeast
Sea salt
KitchenAid Mixer and 5 minutes of hand mixing (Richard Bertinet's slap and fold method) 
3 stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals

Dave W's picture

Moving bread

January 3, 2008 - 9:45am -- Dave W

What is the best way to move bread thats proving on a flour dusted proving cloth/Couche, and then to put them onto a dusted peel/tray ready for the oven. With some breads that are delicate, longer rolls containing other heavy additions, olives, peppers etc are always very fragile. any ideas other than be carefull !. iv'e tried using a large utensile like a fish slice but this seems to damage the bread, lifting it by hand is difficult as the rolls bend in the center.


Dave W

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